Exciting News! Erin L. Snyder’s “For Love of Children”!
Threat Quality Press is extra-pleased to announce that our actual real live imprint now has A SECOND TITLE AVAILABLE! TQP contributer Erin L. Snyder’s For Love of Children is a wild, eerie fantasy adventure that draws from a mythology of nursery rhymes and folkloric figures. It is unlike anything you’ve ever read before!
Is it available in time for Christmas? No, probably not! However, among all reasonable, civilized people, the gift-giving holiday extends all the way to Epiphany, which is January 6th, so you’ve still got time to get this excellent and especially seasonal-appropriate gift for your literate loved ones.
Click through to read an excerpt of the novel, in which Santa Claus makes an extra stop on Christmas Eve, 1946.
Soon, all the stockings in the East were filled with care and the last toys were set beneath the branches of Christmas trees. Nicholas climbed into his sleigh and called to his deer. They lifted into the air, and Nicholas whispered, “One last gift before we move on.”
He flew to a secret city in Russia and landed his sleigh. He walked past armed guards, frozen in time. He went to a house and opened the door. Inside he found another old man with a large beard hunched over a desk in his study.
“Citizen!” Nicholas cried out in Russian.
The man looked up and jumped. He looked at Nicholas for a moment without speaking. Then he swallowed and asked, “Are you here to kill me?”
“No, nothing like that,” Nicholas said.
The man looked closely at Nicholas. “I am sorry. A… threat was recently made on my life and the lives of my workers. You startled me, and I spoke too quickly. Now that I see you clearly, I almost think I know you. We are not so different in age, I think. Are we friends?”
“I’m older than I look,” Nicholas corrected him. “You are younger than I am. Yet, I feel a certain kinship with you.”
“Well, we both look like priests,” he laughed.
“I suppose we do. I was a priest, once.”
“I am a man of science myself.” He seemed uneasy as he asked, “Who are you?”
“You might not believe me if I told you,” Nicholas said. “Let us assume I am a dream.”
“If we must. Dream or no, is there anything I can get you?”
“I want to see your notes,” Nicholas said.
The Russian laughed at the request. “How do I know you aren’t… an American spy or something?”
“I am no spy. The Americans don’t know about this place. If they did, they might send more than spies.”
“No. I forgot. You are a dream, aren’t you?” The Russian chuckled. “Well then, perhaps I should ask the guards who you are. If they say you’re a dream, I’ll show you whatever you’d like. How is that?”
“I will go with you,” Nicholas said.
The two men walked into the snow. The Russian scientist approached a guard, calling him by name. The guard didn’t answer or move. He didn’t blink, and there was no breath coming from his lips.
“What is this?”
“As I said before, let us call it a dream. Please, let us look at your notes.”
The Russian grew pale, but he nodded and brought Nicholas back into his study. He showed him pages of notes, which Nicholas looked at, one by one. Finally, Nicholas stopped. “There are mistakes here,” he said. “The generator will not work like this.” Nicholas picked up a pen and scratched out several notes. He changed numbers and designs, fixing the problem.
The Russian looked at the paper in disbelief. “What is this?”
“After I leave, you will forget about my visit. In a year or so, the generator you build won’t work. You will return to your notes and find this change. It may save your life.”
“I have already been informed what will happen to me if I fail.”
Nicholas nodded. “You will not fail. Russia will have the atomic bomb.”
“How do you know this?”
“Because I know many things. I know you, for one. I know your brilliance and your spirit. I know you are smart enough to see this through,” Nicholas said.
“You are not Russian.”
“I am not,” Nicholas said.
“Why are you doing this, then?”
“Because I fear for the world. I fear two world powers less than I fear one.”
“Russia will use this technology for mankind,” the scientist said.
Nicholas didn’t smile. “Will it? I hope so. I truly hope so.”
The scientist swallowed. “So do I.” He wasn’t smiling, either. “But why help me?”
“Because you have already done so much with so little. You have already unlocked the secrets of atomic energy. You deserve better than to die because a simple generator didn’t work.”
“I think I know you,” the scientist said. “You are Father Winter, aren’t you?”
“I am old,” Nicholas said. “But I am not as old as winter.”
The Russian scientist chuckled. He turned to look at the notes. When he turned back, he was alone. He sat down in his chair and rubbed his forehead. There was no pain, but an emptiness remained. “Have I… have been talking to myself?” he asked, and, for one moment, he thought of an old man with a long white beard. “What a strange thing,” he remarked, as he put away his notes without another glance.
For Love of Children is available at amazon.com in handsome hardcopy format, and will soon be available for Kindle and on Lulu, as well.